Tying up

The Blenheim gallery opened at 1pm, so I paid it a visit. It had only two rooms, which is the same as the Raglan gallery. It wasn’t as much fun as the Raglan gallery.

Blenheim had a strange feel to it. While it wasn’t quite living in the past, it had a feeling like that somehow it had reached its peak in the 1950s, and anything done to the city beyond that didn’t quite fit in with the general vibe of the city.

Like, the most exciting thing was when I realised that the Blenheim Post Office was architecturally similar to the Auckland Central Police Station. It was a few stories shorter, but just as utilitarian and oppressive.

But I’m quite glad I visited Blenheim, cos it made Nelson seem really cool in comparison.

So today I’m just filling in time around downtown Nelson until my flight back to Auckland. I’m going to be a little sad to say goodbye to Nelson (which is being sunny Nelson today), but I must return to Auckland because that is the one place where I don’t feel like an Aucklander.

Places named after dead white men

Yesterday morning I went to the Nelson markets. There was heaps on sale, and not one person selling knock-off Louis Vuitton handbags. I found a stall run by the couple who started the Anathoth jam company. They sold it a few years ago, but wanted back in the jam business, so I now have a pot of strawberry jam and ginger marmalade.

Then I went back to the museum for the newly opened mirrors exhibition. It was of the “Hey, kids! Science is fun!” variety, but functioned more like a carnival hall of mirrors than anything educational. My favourite was the obesity epidemic mirror that let viewers see what they’d look like as a really fat-arse person.

I visited the Nelson silversmith who made the Lord of the Rings ring. The lady behind the counter brought out the rotoype and a giant version of it. I looked at it and felt dirty.

I visited the Wearable Art and Collectable Car museum. It cost $18 to get in, and I left feeling a little underwhelmed. Maybe it’s the limitation of displaying frocks and cars – the cars aren’t moving, the wearable art isn’t being worn.

I should also note that I had the worst service from the cafe there. They forgot to make my coffee, and when it finally arrived, it tasted like coffee-tinted milk.

Next I got in my automobile and drove to Upper Motere and visited the Katie Gold and Owen Bartlett pottery. The Nelson area is full of potters (something in the dirt?), but most of them seem to make stuff of the cheerful crockery variety. But there was no cheerful crockery at Upper Moutere, so I bought a couple of pieces.

The trouble with buying pottery is no matter how small it is, it gets wrapped up with tons of bubble wrap and shredded paper, so I have no idea how I’m going to fit all my stuff in my suitcase. Woe!

Today I’m in Blenheim, which is dead cos it’s a Sunday. The main street is empty. It seems the only thing to do is visit a winery and get all Sideways.